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Five Stops to Adventure in Hood River, Oregon

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, “Travel is the best education for the curious spirit!”

Have you heard of Hood River, Oregon? I admit I had not. While I’ve visited Portland on several occasions, I consider myself a global liaison for travel and was unaware of this quaint city. So, given the opportunity to visit during the city’s inaugural celebration, I pounced with PRIDE. Nothing moves me more than an outward celebration of diversity, inclusion, and love. Furthermore, I  pride myself on taking the opportunity to discover the unknown! Discovering the unknown during solo travel forces one to meet new experiences and people with an open heart of discovery and intrigue.

My curiosity and zest for travel pointed me westward from my home base to Portland International Airport. Just shy of an hour away in Columbia River Gorge, you will inhale the majestic greenery upon arriving in this boutique community. Volcanoes, trees and waterfalls will wrap you in a melody of nature. Called the windsurfing capital of the world, Hood River is located at the panoramic crossroads of the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Range. While I am always eager for adventure, windsurfing isn’t my forte. Given my clumsy nature, I opted instead for hiking to capture the most beautiful scenery & selfie, drink wine, and dine at some of the hippest places. The aforementioned coupled with a few stops for vintage frocks make for the perfect visit to Hood River, Oregon!

Here are your 5 Stops to Adventure in Hood River, Oregon.

Where to Stay in the Hood

The historic Hood River Hotel is your command central. A community staple since 1912 and centrally located this hotel sits on the city’s main drag with bountiful options within walking distance. From the oversized lobby fireplace, the hotel welcomes guests with a cozy feel.  On the National Register of Historic Places, the vintage yet hip hotel offers oversized room stays with a turntable to spark musical joy. You can opt to relax on the hotel's period style furnishings to enjoy an afternoon siesta or peaceful nights’ rest.  

Breakfast in The Hood

Breakfast at Broder Øst (East) is the way to go especially if you follow my lead with hotel accommodations. Just beyond the hotel check-in of the Hood River Hotel is a side entrance to the yummiest morning experience. Copied verbatim from the menu I strongly suggest:

  • Baked Egg Skillet with ham, smoked Gouda, caramelized onions and tarragon cream
  • Danish Pancakes (AEBLESKIVER) served with lingonberry jam, house lemon curd with pure maple syrup
  • Sautéed spinach and Applewood smoked bacon

Finding a Frock in The Hood

Obviously, one must find a healthy way to spend time while visiting a cool new spot. Sourcing the community for a cool resale & vintage shop is never boring. Most recently I have been craving the idea of replicating Diane Keaton’s effortless and timeless looks with distressed oversized jeans. Specifically, I have been on the hunt for classic Levi 501’s. Thanks to Precious Drab Vintage I’ve quenched my thirst for this wardrobe fundamental! A brand-new store that is elegantly appointed for the avid shopper, I left with 2 pairs of jeans that can tell a short story of their own.

Lunch in The Hood

Fifteen years and running Ground Expresso Bar and Café’s owner Carin Agren radiates a sweet and down to heart presence that makes you want to return to her establishments, in downtown Hood River, to simply talk. Carin, a native of Sweden, is a former flight attendant turned barista at the community’s best coffee shop.  Hard work and customer focused attention are contributing factors for Carin’s second community hotspot Doppio in Hood River. Do yourself a favor and order the ham & cheese sandwich which includes housemade aioli mustard, Swiss cheese, and tomatoes pressed to perfection like a panini!

Dinner in The Hood

Celilo Restaurant and Bar with its industrial exposed ceiling and wood railing reeks of warmth and charm. Be sure to reserve your seating at to enjoy the fresh air with the restaurant’s unique ambiance. Ending my day with the restaurant’s menu starters was splendid. I strongly suggest:

  • Homemade pickles
  • Cauliflower croquettes with romesco and creamy cauliflower sauce
  • Beef skewers with scallion ginger dipping sauce

Sipping in The Hood

You can sip all day in Hood River! There are dozens of wineries! Upsidedown Wine made the tasting journey flirty, fun, and filled with floral flavors paired with their stylishly minimalist sipping room. Be sure to sip the 2021 Konnowac Viognier. The taste is simply divine!